Happiest Time of the Year
Our Christmas Season is off and running. There are so many wonderful things to see and do this time of year, I don’t know how we’re going to get it all in. But that’s a good problem to have.
During a recent party, I was reminded by a friend that there are those that are maybe not having as much of an awesome time as others. During some part of the night, a number of women had gathered together. As women are want to do…we began talking about our husbands. It was during this time that I noticed one of my friends went quiet. Later, she confided in me that her Christmas won’t be like others in the past as she has moved into her own apartment due to a separation.
My heart went out to my friend as I remember how that felt. To be alone at Christmas after so many years of husband and family.
I thought about that first Christmas after my divorce. I remember thinking that if I had to go it alone, it was damn well going to be what I wanted!
During my first marriage, my ex-husband was against getting a real tree. That first “alone” Christmas, I somehow found a very big real tree. I don’t recall now where I got it or how I even dragged that big tree in, but I do recall making paper decorations for it. I used those along with some yarn dolls my sister made and a box of miniatures that come from the dollar store. Along the way, a friend gave me a couple of spools of ribbon and I made those into bows for my tree. A few strands of donated lights and I was all set. That tree was somewhat of a representation of what my life was like during those years – help from friends/family and stretching things out to make do. It was a beautiful tree and I haven’t been able to make one like that since. And I recall how much my very small house smelled like Christmas.
There were many “alone” Christmases that followed. Each year, I’d decorate another tree and hope for a year to come when I’d have someone special to share it with. And while I have found my soul mate at this point, there were many, many lonely nights when I was sure that I wouldn’t.
During those years, I was very fortunate to have friends that remembered me and always invited me in when I couldn’t make the trip home to be with my parents and siblings.
At this recent party, staring into my friend’s eyes, I felt that loneliness as I know that her family is many, many states away. I invited her to share in any of our activities and immediately, I could see how her demeanor brightened. Another couple invited her to spend Christmas Eve with them. Other friends began to step up and invite her to their events. By the end of the night, I was pretty sure that her calling card was beginning to fill out and I left her hoping that some part of her soul is starting that long process of healing.
While I know that there will still be lonely moments for her, I am hoping that in our small ways we can help her through this extremely tough time.
All of this reminded me that there are others out there. Others that will feel that loneliness that is made so much worse by the cheerfulness of the season. I know that no matter how hard I try, there will still be others that might get overlooked. Today, I’m going to take a good look at my circle of friends and try extra hard to be sure that none of them get left out. I hope by telling you, dear reader, about my experience, that it will help you to take a good look at your friend circle and even beyond to be sure that others get included as well.
I’m really hoping that this Christmas really will be the hap, happiest time of the year!
I sincerely wish each of you a VERY happy beginning to your holidays!
NOTE: About this sweater: I bought this last year at Lane Bryant. Last Christmas season it was hot enough that we were wearing shorts part of the day. This year, I was finally able to use the sweater, but even with cooler weather, this sweater is still VERY warm. About the shoes: They are sold out online, but may still be available in store.